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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Canine Couch Potato

I have come to the conclusion that one of my dogs, Inara, is a fan of TV.  However, it must be certain programs or movies.  She is around a year old and is a yellow lab mix.  Normally she's pretty active and loves to play, though thankfully she has calmed down a bit once she reached adulthood.  Television normally doesn't interest her, and she will lay quietly on the bed or couch, chewing on one of her toys.

Until a show comes on involving dogs. 

Right now we have Homeward Bound on TV and she has been watching it intently.  Whenever the animals come on she will turn and watch it, even leaning closer to the TV.  In a few scenes she has even growled a little.  When scenes have only people, she will turn away and not seem to care.  It's been very interesting studying her and watching how her attention waxes and wanes depending on what comes on the screen.  The animals really fascinate her.  Our other dog, Guinevere, could care less and doesn't even seem to notice what the TV does.

It makes me wonder what is going through Inara's mind.  Does she recognize that these are real animals?  I have to think so, otherwise she wouldn't have the interest.  Does she wonder where they are and why she can't smell them?  Does she wonder why they don't respond to her?  How much does she really perceive and understand?  We'll probably never know.  But it's interesting that some dogs can have interests in TV like people do.

Other people have hoped to cash in on the pet TV watcher market.  You can find videos of fish, birds, and other animals that are designed to keep the interest of your cats while you are away.  I can't say how well they work, and it's probably marketed towards the owners as much as the pets.  But watching my own dog I have to say that there is probably some validity to it.

Hmmmm...Maybe I should get one of those videos for Inara.